In looking ahead to Mother's Day, which falls on May 13, I think about the days when I would go into the local Hallmark store and browse through all of the beautiful Mother's Day cards. I always started with the top shelf, as those were the cards that were the most expensive and the most grand.

By Trish Morgan
For the News Tribune
In looking ahead to Mother's Day, which falls on May 13, I think about the days when I would go into the local Hallmark store and browse through all of the beautiful Mother's Day cards. I always started with the top shelf, as those were the cards that were the most expensive and the most grand.
I loved Linda's Hallmark in Keyser - not only my go-to place for Mother's Day cards, but for every other special occasion throughout the year. I am a collector of Hallmark ornaments for my Christmas tree, and I have been collecting since 1976.
But, as many things in our lives, Linda decided to retire and live out the rest of her life spending time with her husband doing the things they most enjoyed. That left the rest of us to find other alternatives to purchase our greeting cards.
Greeting cards...fast becoming a thing of the past. I can remember buying cards for just about any occasion - birthdays, holidays, graduations, baptisms, births, sympathy, get well, thinking of you cards, cards with the loveliest of messages to give to your sweetheart. But, modern technology is moving its way into the card section of our major chains. So many of us opt to send electronic messages, text messages, Facebook messages. Not because we don't want to spend the little bit of extra money, but because we've gotten accustomed to the life of convenience. Our intentions are the same - to express our emotions for the occasion - but, the convenience of quickly sending out something electronically is what we do these days.
I think of my mother, especially at this time of year when the weeping cherry tree in my front yard will soon showcase the most beautiful pink blossoms on Baughman Street. You see, I now once again live in my childhood home where I was raised. My mother had this weeping cherry tree planted so many years ago, and with a pruning in 2016, this year's blooming should be spectacular. However, it does depend on Mother Nature - who has a mind of her own this year!!
I think of my mother, when in 2014 at this time, was in the last month of her life. She had been diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer in 2012, and thanks to modern medicine, Dr. Qamar Zaman and prayers, my mother lived almost two years after she was diagnosed. Our family is eternally grateful that we were able to enjoy precious time with our mom. Unfortunately, my father was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer about one month after my mom was diagnosed, and because of how bad his lungs were due to over 50 years of smoking, he was only able to live for another seven months.
I think of how that journey of two years was for my mother - who knew what metastatic stage IV meant...who believed in the power of love and prayer and healing...who knew her husband of 56 years was going through the exact same journey at the exact same time... wondering who would go first. THAT journey changed MY life.
The journey was hard...I won't lie. I remember the day my dad cried while telling me that he wanted to go first, that he did not want to see his wife die before him. He said there was no way he could handle that. My dad rarely ever cried. All throughout my life, I can only remember a couple of occasions when I saw my dad cry. But, on this day, the tears ran down his face. That is a precious memory, and I knew at that moment this journey changed his life, too.
The last seven months of my father's life, there were several times that he cried - moments I will never forget. He cried when my sister Debbie read a poem on Father's Day that I had written for him. Somehow, I could not bring myself to read the poem, so Debbie offered. He cried one afternoon when we talked about my son Andy - who was in the midst of active drug addiction, struggling through all of those demons and life and death circumstances. He told me he did not want me to have to bury my son. My dad cried the day that he decided to give his Ford Ranger pickup truck to my husband Tony. How my dad loved that truck, and he wanted his son-in-law to have it. But, most of all, he just could not bear the thought that he would outlive his wife and have to live in this big old house all by himself.
On, July 13, 2013...my dad died peacefully at home in the middle of the night, with my sister Debbie by his side. Dad's prayers were answered.
As it would turn out, we would have just about another year with Mom. So, I would still be able to buy just one more Mother's Day card. I knew it would be the last one...we all knew that. But, as sick as she was, as much weight as she had lost, and as many diagnostic tests and cancer medications she had and taken, she never lost her faith. She never wavered...she knew she would soon see the face of Jesus.
Still, it's hard to lose your mother. To know that you will never be able to talk with her again, that you will never be able to hold her hands and share your most intimate thoughts with her. You know that she will no longer be in the family Christmas celebrations, and that she will never play the piano at the house again. You feel the emptiness, the longing for that mother/daughter bond, and you just want to see her smile and hear her laugh again. For those of you who knew Janet Cavin, you know she smiled all the time. And, you also know her laugh could be heard for miles!
I think of my mother every single day of my life. When everything is turning green and flowers start to bloom, I am reminded how much my mother marveled at God bringing everything back to life in the spring.
Then, there's Mother's Day just around the corner. I won't be buying a card, but I will make sure to plant many beautiful flowers in the memorial garden in the front of the house where she lived most of her married life.
I thought of my mother when I attended a funeral last Saturday at Emmanuel Pentecostal Holiness Church in Keyser. I attended that funeral because I knew there was a young woman who dearly loved her mother, and lost her so suddenly and unexpectedly. That young woman has no journey to look back on and reflect how it changed her life like I did. But, the loss is still the same.
This beautiful young woman will now be like so many of us who live on without our mothers. She now will walk the journey of a motherless child. She will cry, she will grieve and she will wonder why she had to lose her mother. I'm certainly no expert on grief or loss, and I can just offer love and comfort. She will be the one who will have to deal with her loss in her own way and in her own time.
I can say without a doubt that she will come to the understanding that God is in control, and God has a purpose for every single one of us. I pray that she will be able to continue her journey and do everything possible to honor the memory of her mother. It will not be an easy journey, but she has such a tremendous support system within her family and wealth of friends. They will walk with her, and I am confident that she will walk tall, and walk on.
"Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you'll never walk alone." - from one of my favorite classic musicals, "Carousel" ... song made even more popular by Jerry Lewis and the Muscular Dystrophy Telethon that was held every Labor Day weekend for scores of years.
"When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high, and don't be afraid of the dark..."
Young woman - I dedicate this column to you with all the love and encouragement I can muster for you. Shine on...for I promise, you will feel your mother's love all around you everyday. Every morning - when the birds sing. Every afternoon - when kitties and doggies come wagging their tails, begging for your love and kisses! Every night before you go to sleep - when the stars always shine and the moon changes from crescent to full. You will also feel your mother when most unexpected, and when most needed.
I think of my mother, too. Always. And I miss her always. But the journey of love - it goes on and on, love without end. Also, I have faith and hope. I know I will see her smile and laugh again, and THAT makes the journey worth every tear.